How to make your shy child smile for pictures - without saying "CHEEESE!"

One of the more common concerns we hear from parents in the run up to a photo shoot is - "What if my child misbehaves or won't smile?" We tell parents not to worry about it, having been a teacher for nearly 5 years Dave knows what kids can be like. He knows how to have fun with them, when to have a joke and when, actually, they're just a little shy and need a bit of time to get used to the situation. 

There are so many things that can make you happy in this world. Food? Family? Friends? But for shy kids, sometimes none of that works. It can be the simplest things and sometimes, it's the things as adults you often wouldn't think of.

Earlier this year, we had the pleasure of photographing this adorable family in Oldmoor bluebell woods in Nottinghamshire. This young lady didn't have the easiest start in life, she had a congenital disorder and hip dysplasia in her first year but now she's just like any other cheeky two year old you would ever meet. When we first met, however, this delightful young lady was rather shy.

As she explored the stunning bluebell woods, she was shy.

As she carefully walked along a fallen tree holding mum's hand, she remained shy.

As she ate her sandwich as a snack, she was still shy.

At this stage, as a parent, it's only natural to worry. Is she enjoying this? Is she nervous? Will we get some great images of her having fun? Don't worry.

Don't worry if you've got half way through the photography session and you're cheeky kids hasn't stopped and smiled at the camera yet. Try not to force it, or tell them to smile - this can cause kids to feel more pressured and tense which will not produce natural, fun images. Sometimes, it just takes time for them to get comfortable and start to enjoy it - which is totally fine! It can be hard to know what might spark a smile.



it's throwing leaves in the air.

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it's blowing bubbles.

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it's just a big hug from her good friend Rabbit.

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The secret to getting a shy child to smile without saying "CHEESE!". Simple. Let them explore, let them be themselves and let their personality shine through.

So, regardless of how shy your little explorer might be, with the right location and the right photographer, you can get stunning images of your kids that you can display proudly on the wall.

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Just last week, we were lucky enough to deliver this young lady her pictures and her face simply lit up when she opened the wrapping and discovered this picture of Rabbit and her face smiling back at her.

So click here to find out more about your own family photography session.